6 Tips for Low Impact Camping

Tips for low impact camping so you can enjoy camping while still respecting nature and striving for zero waste.
Tips for Low Impact Camping   Camping is one of those things – you either love it or you hate it. I’m in the love it for a few days camp. Too much time camping and I start to get a little crabby – I think there’s a direct correlation with the level of grime I detect. Our beach camping trips usually last 4 to 5 days. It is unbelievably fun but by the end I am pretty ready for it to be over.  And let me tell you, that first shower after beach camping is amazing!! How about you – are you a die-hard camper or would you prefer a nice, cozy hotel?

I may receive commissions from purchases made through links in this article including Amazon Affiliates. Full Disclosure

6 Tips for Low Impact Camping

If you are like millions of families who are heading out on a family camping trip sometime this summer, be sure to keep these tips in mind to keep your impact on your surroundings as low as possible. I’m here to tell you – it is possible to have a fun camping trip while still respecting the environment and leaving no trace behind!

Respect Nature

  • Set up camp in designated camping spots only.
  • Don’t attempt to alter the campsite by clearing brush or to build something using nails, saws etc…
  • Build fires in established pits or grates or if you build something new, completely restore the area when you are finished.
  • Enjoy the wildlife but don’t interfere with its habitat. Keep all food properly stored so animals are not tempted to go after it.
Horse on Assateague Island beach

Use Alternative Energy

Reusable over Disposable

  • Bring reusable water bottles and refill from a safe water source if there is one, or a larger container of drinking water.
  • Skip the paper plates and napkins and bring sturdy reusables instead.
  • Reduce garbage by buying food in bulk or larger packages instead of wasteful individual packages.
  • Bring reusable containers for leftovers to reduce food waste.
  • Aim for zero waste!
Low Impact Camping via mindfulmomma.com

Eco-Friendly Clean Up

Pack it in, Pack it Out

  • Pack out all garbage, including food scraps.
  • Take all recyclables home with you (unless the camp site has a recycling station).
  • Bury any spilled food or human/pet waste.

Leave No Trace

  • When you leave, the campsite should look exactly like it did when you arrived. No exceptions!
Sandy beach with grass Assateague Island  

What do you do to minimize the impact on the environment when you camp?

postsiggie4 copy  


  1. Good tips. I would like to see all campgrounds provide recycling centers.

    1. I agree Anne! We were lucky at our beach camping place that they do provide recycling.

    1. Do you have really young kids Christy? When they get a little older, I bet you can start camping again – it’s a great family activity!

  2. We’re gearing up for our next camping trip now and I’m excited to see that we already use most of your tips! I think our next change will be incorporating some of the alternative energy tips you mentioned.

    1. Have fun camping Alicia!

  3. Pippa Buxton says:

    I loved this and it made me think of camping at Wilsons Promontory in Victoria, Australia which is the state where we live. Here we do have recycling facilities and there are a family of wombats that live in harmony with visitors to the sites. I think camping draws us away from the social obsession with having ‘more’ to the freedom of not only surviving but relaxing and embracing the less.

    1. So true Pippa – camping helps us see how little we need to get by. It’s good for the soul!

  4. Great tips! We love camping but one thing I’ve noticed lately, and it really bothers me, is how people nail things to trees. They do this to hang things or to run clothes lines or hammocks from tree to tree. It’s NOT good for the tree. So I suggest that if a tree’s service is needed, use it in a kind way … one which doesn’t including destroying or modifying the tree in any way.

    1. I agree Small Footprints – people need to respect the natural environment, not destroy it. Have fun camping this summer!

  5. We’re just starting the packing for our big camping trip this year – last year we managed 3 weeks, which was great for the adults but a bit stressful on the teenagers! This year we’re going for 2 full weeks, which we think will be more manageable. We aim to camp as you suggest – and we found that all our campsites around Italy last year had recycling points except the one in Rome, and we left a comment in their ‘suggestions’ box to this effect! Thanks for this post, which really got me in the mood…

  6. Awesome tips. We are all about hitting the outdoors and not leaving any traces of our stay behind. These are some great tips that I really hope others use and appreciate as well. Thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *